Poorer harvest and falling prices, more sugar: how season will end for Tatarstan agriculturists
Tatarstan sumps up the summer season in the republic’s agro-industrial complex. Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Food of the region Marat Zyabbarov reported on key indicators of the sector. Due to weather conditions, the grain harvest this year has dropped by 30%. At the same time, existing last year’s reserves have lowered purchase prices. However, Tatarstan has anyway exported grains — for $12 million.
Grain harvest in Tatarstan 30% down
Marat Zyabbariv started his speech with a report on harvest collection noting that the republic had almost completed grain collection.
1,417 million hectares have been threshed, or 98% of the area. 25,000 hectares are left, of which winter wheat is 10,000 ha, buckwheat is 15,000 ha. The region’s garners have received 3,662 million tonnes of wheat in bunker weight. At the same time, the average harvest is 25.8 dt/ha. To compae, it was 36.9 dt/ha in 2022.
According to Zyabbarov, the frost in early May when the temperature went down to -12 degrees and drought — during vegetation (Editor’s note: from April to July), the precipitation in the republic was 90 mm (Editor’s note: which is 48% of the average of 187 mm) caused the fall in harvest, especially in the east of the republic. At the same time, 30,000 hectares have suffered from the frost in the eastern part of the republic, there was even less precipitation in this zone — just 45% of the average, or 84 mm.
As Marat Zyabbarov stressed, works at fields don’t stop with the end of harvest collection. He says that households still have to collect 28,800 hectares of maize. The collection of this crop for forage has started almost in all districts — 38,000 ha, or 25%, have been collected at the moment, he added.
Also, households of the republic have already dug 13,800 tonnes of potato (the average yield is 292 dt/ha) and 5,500 tonnes of vegetables, the average yield is 195 dt/ha.
No fear of sugar deficit in the republic
The minister of agriculture and food of Tatarstan also touched on sugar and sugar beet collection. According to him, four districts of the republic have already started the collection. The area is 52,000 hectares, a total of 3,900 hectares, or 7%, has been processed at the moment, he said. Nowadays 115,000 tonnes of sugar beet has been collected in total, its yield reaches 295 dt/ha.
“The Zainsk Sugar Factory has started feedstock processing, 2,000 tonnes of sugar beet has been processed. The Buinsk Sugar Factory will be launched approximately on 10 September.
By preliminary estimates, we expect over 1.5 million tonnes of sugar beet — this is around 180,000 tonnes of sugar. We have no fear of a deficit of this product,” Zyabbarov said.
Grain purchase prices in Tatarstan fall because of last year’s reserves
Big existing reserves made as a consequence of a record harvest last year became the main problem for agricultural producers in the grain market in 2023, as Zyabbarov explained. So as of 4 September, 600,000 tonnes of last year’s gain is stored in Tatarstan.
“To support producers, the Russian government allocates a subsidy to compensate for grain producers’ costs on sold grain. Last year, 900,000 tonnes of sold grain for a total of 1.3 billion rubles was compensated with money from the federal budget to support agricultural produces. Also, a purchase of grain for the intervention fund was additional support for agricultural producers. In 2022, 226,000 tonnes of grain was purchased for prices above the average,” the minister said.
At the same time, this year the producers have received 8 million rubles of state support, 446,000 tonnes of sold grain has been subsidised.
This year, Tatarstan has exported surplus grain for $12 million. It went to Iran, Turkey, Syria and Kazakhstan.
Foreign equipment still used in Tatarstan agriculture
The update of the republic’s machine and tractor fleet of agricultural entities goes on in Tatarstan. So since the start of the year agriculturists have purchased 2,100 pieces of machinery: 294 tractors, 137 grain collectors and 40 forage harvesters, 1,600 pieces of other equipment. The total costs are assessed at 8.7 billion rubles.
To compare, 3,100 pieces of agricultural machinery and equipment for over 12.3 billion rubles were purchased in 2022. It was 404 tractors, 141 grain and 38 forage harvesters and 2,500 pieces of other vehicles.
“The budget of the republic actively stimulates the update of the equipment fleet, a mechanism of subsidisation of Russian equipment and a 30% discount of the Customs Union without VAT is used. The republic annually allocates 1.8 billion rubles for equipment and technology modernisation,” said head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Marat Zyabbarov.
At the same time, the minister says that over 10% of tractors, 30% of agricultural machines and 100% milk equipment in the Tatarstan Agro-Industrial Complex are of foreign origin.
“Parallel import mechanisms have been mastered by dealers. Nowadays all foreign equipment is timely repaired and effectively used,” he said.
Zyabbarov also noted that the course for import replacement stays in the republic. According to him, since the very beginning of this activity, mechanical engineering enterprises and small companies of the republic have mastered the production and repair of over 2,000 spare parts of foreign equipment. In general the prices for spare parts are twice as lower compared to their original parts, he stressed.
Regional households received over 8.6 billion rubles of state support
“As for state support, I want to note that despite all budget restrictions, it became possible to keep all support measures from both the budget of the republic and the federal budgets,” the minister explained.
The sector was given a total of 14.1 billion rubles, including 3.4 billion rubles from the federal and 10.7 billion rubles from the republican budgets.
As of 1 September 2023, households of the region have received over 8.6 billion rubles, or 61% of the annual limit. It is planned the sector will be transferred around a billion rubles next month.
“The programme of preferential loans where agricultural producers annually take out preferential loans at 1-5% a year remains popular. Nowadays the limit of money given to the republic has been fully spent. It was agreed to provide agriculturists with 248 loans for 18.1 billion rubles. At the same time, banks additionally need 75 borrowers for 14.9 billion rubles,” Zyabbarov said.
At the same time, due to the rise in the key rate of the Central Bank to 12%, nowadays the demand for loans granted earlier is being recalculated. After that, the Ministry of Agriculture plans to ask the government of the country for additional money, the minister added.